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Cassandra Stays 1760-1780

Scroop Patterns

Cassandra Stays 1760-1780


This a digital PDF download.  See 'About Your PDF' below for more details.


Sizes 32-54 in 3 size packs:

Size Pack A: 32-42
Size Pack B: 38-48
Size Pack C: 44-54

Difficulty: Expert   

The Cassandra Stays are based on numerous extant 1760-80 era stays and create the elegantly elongated torso with high back and rounded bust fashionable in these decades.

Choose between detailed instructions on how to make the stays with period accurate materials and construction methods (View A), or equally detailed instructions to make the stays with methods taken from modern theater and film costume construction (View B). Mix and match the two methods to get a historical look with less hand-sewing.

View A, the historically accurate pattern, features a solid front with angled boning meeting at the front seam, back lacing, three layers of construction fabric with an additional buckram bellypiece for more reinforcement, and an optional loose lining. There are instructions for binding with leather, linen tape, or straight-cut fabric, and for optional taped seam finishes

View B, the modern 'Theatrical' version, features front and back lacing with an optional separate front stomacher, two layers of construction fabric and an optional decorative layer, metal lacing grommets, and bias binding.

Both versions are spiral laced, use synthetic whalebone (German plastic boning), feature an optional curved bust rail of shaped cane and can be made with or without straps.

 In order to make fitting as easy as possible, the Cassandra Stays come with two bust-to-waist ratio size sets. The ‘Straight’ size set has a 10''/25cm difference between un-corseted bust and corseted waist, and is best for those with less natural bust-to-waist difference, or those desiring less waist compression. The ‘Curvy’ size set has a 12''/30cm difference between un-corseted bust and corseted waist, and is best for those with more natural bust-to-waist difference, or those desiring more waist compression

The Cassandra's work perfectly with the Angelica and Aidah Gowns, and the Amalia Jacket.  Support your skirts with the Frances Rump.

Recommended Fabrics:

The Historical version works well in with outer layers in tightly woven linen, worsted wool, and silk; support layers in midweight linen and linen buckram, and linings in lighter weight linens (including stripes and checks) and period accurate cotton prints.

The Theatrical version works well with an optional outer layer in midweight silk or decorative cottons, and support layers in midweight, very tightly woven, extremely stable, natural-fiber fabrics with no stretch or give, such as heavy poplin, cotton sateen, coutil, satin or brocaded coutil, ticking, mid-heavyweight linen, etc.

Unfortunately our View A sample photoshoot has had to be postponed multiple times due to extreme weather, and illness.  Many thanks to Cecilia, Jessica and Klára for allowing us to use their images of the stunning View A stays they made as pattern testers.

The stays made by Cecilia of @cecilia_theresa_design and worn by Jasmin of @mangaliker148 are View A: Historical in Size 38 Curvy Fit, with straps.  She added 3/8''/1cm to the front bust upper edge.  Her stays are made from purple linen, and bound in purple linen tape.  She has made them with a larger lacing gap, so they can also be worn by the model in a smaller size.  Photo credits: Lars of @till0.36

Jessica of @scotchirish1775 has made her View A: Historical stays in Size 44 Straight Fit, without straps.  Her stays are made from linen dyed with logwood, resulting in a beautiful mauve shade.  They are bound in pale yellow lambskin.

Klára of @klara-posekana has made her View A: Historical stays in Size 48 Straight Fit, with straps.  Her stays are made from brown linen, and bound in ivory kid leather.  

Jenni is wearing View B: Theatrical in Size 38 Curvy Fit in black and white striped cotton ticking backed with coutil and bound with fabric bias tape.  Jenni is 5'3'' and her stays have been shortened 1/2''/1.2cm.  They have been fitted to give a 1780s 'prow front' when laced fully closed, (as shown in the sample photos) or a more conical 1760s-1770s silhouette laced open at the bust over a stomacher.

Nina is wearing View B: Theatrical in Size 46 Straight Fit in saxon blue linen bound with cotton tape.   Nina is 5'2'' and her stays have been shortened 1/2''/1.2cm.  Her stays are worn laced open over a stomacher for a comfortable fit.  They can be laced fully closed for a more high-fashion fit.  She has mixed the Historical and Theatrical pattern and instructions, with the Theatrical pattern, machine sewing, but hand-worked eyelets and tape binding.

About your PDF:

This pattern is a digital download. Once you complete your purchase you’ll be sent an email with a link to download a zip file containing your printable files. You’ll need to open it on a computer: the zip file will not open on phones and tablets.

The Cassandra Stays are designed to print using the 'Layers' function of Adobe Reader.

The Cassandra Stays zip contains the following files:

  • Full Historical Instructions: 32 pages
  • Full Theatrical Instructions: 22 pages
  • Print-At-Home Pattern: 16 pages per Fit option
  • Copyshop Pattern: 2 A0 page (either the Straight or Curvy fit can be printed on only 1 A0 page)
  • Printing Instructions: 4 pages 
  • Fitting Guide: 5 page

Sizing Chart:

Paper Patterns:

A paper version of the Cassandra Stays pattern will be available through Virgil's Fine Goods in the USA.

Tester Makes   

Tutorials & Pattern Hacks  

Additional Historical Information:

Social Media:



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